Why Premium Economy is a Better Option for Corporate Travellers

Most of us are probably all-too-familiar with the dreaded feeling of arriving at a destination with a kinked neck after spending 14 hours trying to get comfortable in economy class. Not to mention the added days it takes to recover from such injuries, coupled with a good bout of jetlag. That is why when travelling for business, flying in comfort is essential so that you can arrive at your destination feeling recharged and ready to go. Premium economy offers that sweet spot for businesses who prioritise the comfort of their employees while also managing travel expenses effectively. Although premium economy provides a more elevated experience for business travellers, it is important to be mindful that the offering can differ greatly from airline to airline. Our team of experienced travel managers are regularly asked the question, “is premium economy really worth the cost?”, so let’s explore the premium economy cabins of some of our most flown airlines. 


But First, Why Fly Premium Economy? 

Now almost every major airline has a premium economy offering, but it wasn’t that long ago when the new class was first introduced by Taiwanese airline, EVA Air, in 1992. Bridging the gap between economy and business class, there’s a reason why premium economy has quickly gained traction over the past two decades. Offering an elevated experience for usually a fraction of the cost of business class, premium economy is the cost-effective solution for your business to travel in comfort. Here’s some features you can expect to find when flying premium economy: 

  • More Space: The main drawcard for premium economy is most certainly the extra legroom and wider seats, providing passengers with an added level of comfort to optimise rest.  
  • Priority Boarding: Skip the queues with dedicated premium economy check-in counters and priority boarding to allow for a more seamless, stress-free travel experience. 
  • Dining Experience: Kick back and enjoy an upgraded dining experience with airlines like Qantas even offering a glass of sparkling wine upon boarding.  
  • Elevated Service: Seated in a smaller private cabin, you can expect to receive more attentive service from a dedicated premium economy cabin crew. 

While all these features sound well and good, it is important to review an airline’s premium economy offering as not all offer the same perks. Our experienced team of corporate travel managers at Pulse Travel can help you find a tailor-made solution that suits your team’s needs, but here’s a summary to get you started: 


World’s Best Premium Economy: Japan Airlines 

In the recently announced Skytrax 2024 World Airline Awards, Japan Airlines was voted to have the World’s Best Premium Economy Class, followed by Emirates in second place and EVA Air in third place. Japan Airlines came out on top due to their roomy seats; boasting a 42-inch seat, compared to the standard 38-inch seat most airlines have. To add to this, their seats have fold-out privacy dividers and premium economy passengers are granted access to the Japan Airlines lounge prior to departure. In line with most other airlines, the checked baggage allowance for premium economy is 2x 23kg pieces. 


Qantas Premium Economy 

When travelling premium economy with Qantas, you can expect a dedicated check-in counter, a generous 40kg baggage allowance, along with priority boarding and disembarkation. Their ergonomically designed seats provide a class-leading level of comfort – all sweetened with a glass of sparkling wine upon boarding, followed by a multi-course dining experience and award-winning selection of wines. 

Qantas Premium EconomyQantas Premium EconomyQantas Premium Economy 

Credit: www.qantas.com  


Emirates Premium Economy 

Voted the second Best Premium Economy Class in the 2024 World Airline Awards, Emirates Premium Economy cabins feature 40-inch-wide cream leather seats with a deeper recline for added comfort. Their dining experience includes regional menus that are refreshed monthly, elevated with Royal Doulton tableware and a wider selection of beverages. Differing from Qantas, there is no dedicated premium economy check-in counter and the checked baggage allowance for these passengers is 35kg.  


Singapore Airlines Premium Economy 

Flying premium economy with Singapore, you will have a calf rest and footrest built into your seat, an enhanced in-flight meal served with porcelain silverware, and a baggage allowance of 35kg or 2x 23kg pieces depending on your destination. To provide a seamless travel experience, passengers will also have priority check-in boarding and baggage handling. 

Singapore Airlines Premium EconomySingapore Airlines Premium Economy

Credit: www.singaporeair.com


United Airlines Premium Economy 

United Airlines premium economy class, Premium Plus, offers the standard extra space, checked baggage allowance of 2x 23kg pieces, as well as priority check-in, boarding, baggage handling and security lanes. The difference between United’s offering is that their premium economy cabin is only semi-private and the dining experience is not as elevated as you may expect on Qantas, Emirates and Singapore Airlines. 

United Airlines Premium PlusUnited Premium Plus

Credit: www.united.com


Is Premium Economy Worth the Cost? 

With fares ranging between 30% to double the cost of an economy ticket, it begs the question – is premium economy really worth it? In short, yes! Particularly for day-time or short-haul flights, you can relax with more space and comfort while travelling for business – without the price tag of a business class fare.  

While premium economy certainly is an upgrade from economy class, it doesn’t offer the same luxury of the lie-flat beds you’ll find in business class. So if you’re flying overnight, it’s important to consider the features that will help you arrive at your destination feeling well-rested and ready to tackle the day ahead after a long-haul international flight.  

If you’re looking to review your corporate travel policy or identify opportunities to reduce travel costs, our dedicated team of corporate travel managers at Pulse Travel are always happy to help.